Hands up – who loves & Other Stories? I’d imagine that, right now, arms are being waved unanimously, because the clothes are on-trend without feeling faddy, the pieces look expensive but are reasonably priced and both the store and the website are a dream to navigate. Just the other day, I bought a slinky leopard-print midi skirt from its autumn extravaganza, and I plan on living in it until next March. Probably paired with this chunky jumper, this splendid bag and these rather lovely ankle boots. So, yes, we (I) like the clothes, the bags, the shoes – and many of us also like the beauty section. (For the uninitiated, & Other Stories is a treasure trove of make-up, perfume and body-care bits. And if you’re yet to slather on a layer of their Sicilian Sunrise body soufflé, well, you are in for a treat.)
Now, a brand-new swanky hair line-up has joined the roster, all priced between £7 and £15, and with packaging to rival the likes of Oribe and Ouai. Developed with the help of leading hair stylist Kylee Heath, who’s worked with Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and Sarah Paulson – all of whom have fabulous hair – she tested every product on herself and her clients to make sure that each of them delivered, before giving her stamp of approval. And they're good. They're very good.
Currently, the collection consists of three ranges: Fullness (which plumps up flat hair), Restore (which is thoroughly nourishing) and Universal (which does a bit of everything). Product-wise, there’s everything from hair masks, serums, sprays, shampoos and more to keep your hair in good nick. My favourite is the Fullness Texturising Spray, which transforms my normally crap and wilty hair into a voluminous triumph that JLo herself would be proud of. The Universal range is very well executed, too, and manages to do lots of things well – namely, nourish, volumise and strengthen. The conditioner, in particular, is slippery enough to impart very soft, healthy looking hair, while the texture is lovely and light, so as not to weigh things down.
As for the scent, each was designed by perfumer Jerome Epinette who worked on the fragrance for the bath and body range (v delicious), so, of course, they all smell fantastic – like a salon, a holiday and a spa combined.
Overall, you have yourself a high-street range that performs far above it's price tag, which, as we all know, is & Other Stories all over.
WHAT TO TRY
Best for a root boost: Fullness Shampoo
This has a very lightweight consistency, the smell is glorious (a bit fruitier than the other ranges) and it contains of loquat leaf and seaweed, which help to moisturise and plump roots.
Best for some TLC: Restore Treatment
This contains hydrating coconut, jojoba and avocado oils to repair damage and leave hair smooth, shiny and silky. Pop it on to wet hair after shampooing, focusing on the lengths and ends, leave for three minutes, then rinse off.
Best for silkifying: Universal Conditioner
Despite feeling lightweight on hair, the texture is buttery, delicious and ideal for making your hair feel softer than soft.
Best for second-day hair: Universal Dry Shampoo
This does what all good dry shampoos do: it mops up grease, lifts roots and gives you an extra day between washes, only the packaging is far prettier and it doesn't leave hair feeling sandy.
Best for bounce: Fullness Texturising Spray
Part dry-shampoo, part hairspray, it combines the volume of the former with the hold of the latter. Expect a good few extra inches of oomph.